I have not disliked any of Aleksandr Ptushko's films, my least favourite is The New Gulliver but that is still a very good film and is of historical significance. All of them show an imaginative visual master who clearly puts a lot of work and care as well as heart into what he does. (As I've said before, don't be put off by the movies of his featured on MST3K, they are entertaining and beautifully made films that are ruined by the American dubbing) While I put Stone Flower, The Tale of Tsar Sultan and Scarlet Sails out it, The Tale of Lost Times is a lovely film. Like all of Ptushko's films, it is a beautiful film to look it with charming sets and above average effects, maybe it lacks the epic wonder of Sadko, Sampo, Ruslan and Ludmilla and Ilya Muromets(the three films I've listed as my favourites from Ptushko are gentler and perhaps more compassionate) but it's not that kind of film and what there is is done creatively. The music score is rousing, even if non-Russian speakers don't completely understand the language from the way the drama's done, the gestures and how the dialogue is said you do get the gist of what is being said(which is more than enough) and the acting is appealing and appropriate for the characters, maybe a little broad at times but it fitted at least with the comedy aspects. The comedy is funny and gently nostalgic, the mid-twentieth century parts of the story are done with a witty and positive human nature and the fantasy elements are as wondrous as you'd expect from Ptushko. The Tale of Lost Times also has a message, but it is one that you learn from and I didn't once feel that I was being talked down to. The characters are good, the heroes are likable but also have flaws while the villains are deliciously evil. Overall, a lovely film and one of Ptushko's better ones. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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